A Morrow man is scheduled to appear in Clayton County Magistrate Court at 10 a.m. today on at least one count of manufacturing, transporting, distributing, possession or offering of an explosive device.

Joseph A. Borlie, 57, is being held in the Clayton County Jail after setting off a milk jug packed with marbles and tile fragments across from his home at 1298 Burbank Trail Monday. The blast radius was about 65 feet wide and shook neighbors’ houses Morrow Police and the Clayton County Police Department Bomb Squad found numerous explosives and bomb-making materials inside Borlie’s home. Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services also responded to the scene.

CCPD Public Information Officer Julia Isaac said CCPD’s Bomb Squad “was called at 6:30 p.m. and arrived on scene about 7:10 p.m.” Isaac said squad members have to be called in from home. Morrow Police is the lead agency in the case.

The Clayton Crescent has asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for more information about the incident and will update as details become available.

Police released photos showing a half-pound block of TNT labeled U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as an old pineapple hand grenade, a drilled-out cannon ball, and other explosive devices:

Police have not released a possible motive for why Borlie allegedly blew up the device, nor have they stated why he had the explosives.

Maj. Mark Woodall of Morrow PD said, “We received multiple calls from up to ten homes away, I’m told, who stated their homes shook on foundation violently.” When officers arrive and got a search warrant, they allegedly discovered “a large amount of marijuana and additional potential bomb-making materials” inside, including what they suspect was an “improvised explosive device.”

In 2016, Borlie was charged with one count of second-degree criminal damage and one count of affray, but online court records show the case was closed on the criminal damage charge and a motion to revise the dead docket and request for dismissal followed two weeks later. Borlie also has a long string of simple battery and traffic charges, as well as obstruction, simple battery, DUI, public drunkenness, and interference with custody dating back to 1983.

Borlie is considered innocent of the charges until and unless he is convicted in a court of law. It is The Clayton Crescent’s editorial policy not to publish mug shots of criminal suspects unless they pose an immediate threat to the community, such as during a manhunt for an active shooter.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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